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How to remove warp in wings

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Cliff 195927/01/2020 20:59:58
537 forum posts
77 photos

I picked up an unfinished DB Mannock last week, both wings have a large twist in one panel, they are both finished in doped nylon, one wing is painted in matt paint.

Any ideas on how I can get the warps out without having to try and strip the nylon?


brokenenglish27/01/2020 21:27:21
592 forum posts
30 photos

Cliff, all my life I've used an "electric fire" for this purpose. When I was a kid, we had several in the house of course, but about 10 years ago I purchased one on the Web (not expensive), for precisely this purpose.

Ideally, you need to be able to remove the wings. Then hold the warped wing at a reasonable distance (6in.) in front of a dual element heater, and move it left and right over the warped section, while twisting out the warp (plus a bit more) in the usual manner.

I mostly use doped finishes, so the heater was a good investment (and essential) for me. But if you don't normally use dope and don't want to invest in a heater, it may be possible to get a similar result with a heat gun. However, the electric heater does heat a fairly large area, which probably faciltates the operation.


Edited By brokenenglish on 27/01/2020 21:28:46

Edited By brokenenglish on 27/01/2020 21:29:26

Martin Harris27/01/2020 21:40:05
9501 forum posts
256 photos

Reminds me of trying the same on a glider wing when I was 13 or 14 - got too close to the element and doesn't doped tissue burn well...reminiscent of a miniature Hindenburg without the humanity!

Cliff 195927/01/2020 22:22:20
537 forum posts
77 photos

Thanks Brian, great idea, I used a heat gun on my film-covered Camel wing but then you're basically resetting the film and, by default, it pulls the wing into a new twist.

I wouldn't have thought about trying it on a doped wing as I wouldn't have expected the nylon to unstick allowing the wing to find a new position, or am I over-thinking this?

brokenenglish28/01/2020 07:10:31
592 forum posts
30 photos

No, No. The heat softens the dope.

Obviously, be careful and don't go too close, but I've been doing this for 70 years, and I don't recall any case in which it didn't work.

For an old FF competition flyer (me), warps are very important and an essential part of trimming a FF plane. So as I'm still using dope/tissue/silk/nylon, I still use the same technique.

For anyone interested, Google "Trotec IRS 800e". That's what I use and it's perfect for warping/dewarping doped flying surfaces. It can obviously heat a workshop as well!

Edited By brokenenglish on 28/01/2020 07:26:14

brokenenglish28/01/2020 08:29:46
592 forum posts
30 photos

Cliff, One other point has occurred to me. I've never used this technique on a painted surface. However, when dewarping, obviously only one side of the flying surface can be facing the heater, and I suspect that only the top surface of your wing is painted (probably Humbrol matt). So make sure you're dewarping with the unpainted side facing the heater!

Cliff 195928/01/2020 09:13:55
537 forum posts
77 photos

I'll definitely give it a go, I didn't realise the dope would soften. I didn't fancy trying to remove it. Actually the top wing is painted both sides so I'll have to play it by ear, thanks for your advice, I'll report back how I get on.

Peter Christy28/01/2020 09:31:21
1874 forum posts

Cliff: I'd recommend steaming the wings over a boiling kettle rather than the electric fire route. Its easy to overheat the covering with a fire, almost impossible with steam! And steam is just as effective!

Over-correct the warp a bit. It will try and come back, and may take a couple of goes before you get rid of it completely. If you over-correct it a bit each time, it will eventually creep back to the desired straightness!

Best of luck!



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